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This Place Is Dead Anyhow May. 8th, 2007 @ 05:37 pm
I now live here: http://www.myspace.com/superlinus

Stuff & Nonsense Mar. 14th, 2007 @ 02:04 pm
ITEM: Life is pretty good, on the whole. Nothing much to complain about, and if I did complain I'd be a stone cold idiot. I'm healthy (apart from my bum knee and arthritic shoulder), I'm not poor, I'm loved, I have friends, and I have lots and lots of stuff to watch, read and listen to.

So, yeah, sorry and all that... but I'm pretty happy on the whole

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ITEM: Sometimes you get surprised by things. Actually, it happens quite a lot. That's the human capacity for assumption and comfort, I guess. Anyhow, I never thought I'd like Benidorm, an ITV sitcom of all things, but it was really very funny. The premise was a bit Duty Free for those of you that remember that far back (although you can buy it on DVD, for fuck's sake!), in that some English people go on holiday to Spain and hilarity ensues. But unlike the "Robert!", "Linda!", "Amy!" of DF, the set-ups were wider and occasionally surreal. Steve Pemberton from League Of Gentlemen looked for all the world like he'd been doing broad sitcom humour all his life, and he was well supported by an ensemble cast that also featured Martin Weedon from Nathan Barley and Johnny Vegas. You can probably still find it on UKNova or other torrent sites. And you should.

Surprise number 2 came at Urban Tiger, Northampton's premier (only) pole-dancing club. I'd never been to one before, despite having a healthy interest in naked females, so it was a surprise to find that I didn't really enjoy it. It just seemed, well, sleazy and boring. But not good sleazy. That may have been the biggest problem - Urban Tiger tries to be upmarket and without the sordidity and filth of what I imagined most skin joints to be, it was just sterile. The girls on stage looked disinterested, and were too thin for the most part. You also had to dodge those same thin girls desperate for you to pay them money for a private dance, and keep an eye out for the bouncers checking that you were behaving yourself. It was like a cross between a school trip and a Jehovah's Witness gauntlet, with added nudity of course. And I may be wrong, but I doubt that "China" and "Peaches" were these girls real names. Meh, too much to complain about, which goes against the grain, but I can honestly say that an slightly overweight girl dancing in Chicago's afterward was far more sexy than anything that Urban Tiger had to offer. Horses for courses, I suppose.

A couple of the boys I was with stayed in after we left and I saw one the next day. I asked him how long he'd stayed and he said that not long after we'd left he'd gone to the casino, where he'd won some money and bumped into an old friend. They then drove to Luton to a massage parlour where he get the works for £80.

Different worlds.

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ITEM: So they killed him. The greatest American hero, despite what William Katt would have you believe. I'm kind of a little bit upset, and disappointed, because he's a magnificent character and the Brubaker run had been awesome. I don't know where they're going with it, but I hope it's not too long. Although the thought of Frank Castle picking up the mask for a while is tantalising.

Yeah I'm a geek.



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ITEM: Music is still amazing. The new Wilco album arrived in my ears today and it's GLORIOUS. But it's by no means alone - just today I've heard great albums by Goldenboy, Autokat, LowStars, and Mr Hudson & The Library. They join some great stuff for what's looking like an amazing year already for music, with awesome albums from Cold War Kids, The Fray and Willy Mason already coming in my ears. I just need to get out and see some of these people live. I missed The Hold Steady through a mixture of circumstance and laziness, and Cold War Kids has sold out. I'm going to try and get to Midlake next month, but you know how that can be. Still, I did see The Bluetones, and they were great, even if I only went by accident. Man, I HEART aural pleasure.

Almost as much as a wank.

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ITEM: I saw some wrasslin' and it was mostly bad. Flippy, floppy Ring Of Honor crap, but with some tiny highlights. Those being, in no particular order:

Samoa Joe kicking Nigel McGuiness's face off

Samoa Joe cutting a great farewell promo

Samoa Joe making me feel like I'm in great shape

Some Japanese guys defeating enemies of wrestling and MAKING ME EXCITED

Skanky British women in the ring who I WOULD.

Colt Cabana. Period.

And that's it, pretty much everything else was crappy. Here is an exchange with Lanto Calrissian about the women's match on the card:

Me: Who's the heel here?

LC: They're both faces.

Me: That's retarded.

LC: Yeah, but that's how they're booked in Shimmer. They usually wouldn't fight each other.

Me: So why are they here?

LC: To showcase Shimmer.

Me: They're pretty crappy.

LC: In Shimmer they don't work this style.

Me: So why aren't they working Shimmer-style?

LC: This is a ROH show - they're working ROH-style.

Me: So if they're not working Shimmer-style, why can't they forget that they're both faces and one play heel?

LC: I. Don't. Know.

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ITEM: Man, I'm really geeky today.
Current Location: Home
Current Mood: chipperchipper
Current Music: Sky Blue Sky by Wilco

Release Yo' Delf Feb. 18th, 2007 @ 02:25 pm
February 2007. That's such a futuristic date. Not February - we have one of those every year, after all - but 2007. Man, back in 1985, 2007 seemed, well, more than 22 years away. And what have we got to show for living in the future? No flying cars, no robots serving us food in pill form, and no culling of everyone over the age 30. Actually, that's a good thing. Unless there's a grandfather clause.

No, the future is pretty much the same as the past, because time moves so slowly. I'm sure I've written about this before, but we're all time machines in a way, just really, really slowly moving ones. But a human being can travel through time, collecting information as they go, and when they reach their destination, that information can be put to use. It's everyday life and a reason to keep your eyes and ears open I guess.

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So it's been a while. Nothing much to say about that except I've been busy. But not busy doing anything worth blogging about, and not miserable enough to blog about nothing. I've been watching football, playing football, listening to music, watching TV, reading magazines, comics, and books, and occasionally drinking myself stupid in cheesy nightclubs. Es mi vida.

I guess I sometimes wish I could be out there, in Krakow or San Jose, but I think I'd rather be here, with my stuff and my life. I've made some great new friends to replace the ones that ran off to foreign parts, and that's a good thing. Because if the guys come back, then I'll have more and more. I used to think you could have too many friends, but I think that was because I really did have too many friends.

But then I got down to two, which was really kinda one and a half, and that's certainly not too many.

160906: We Could Have Been Indestructible Sep. 16th, 2006 @ 12:12 pm
So, yeah, I was all intending to update last Wednesday, what with it being my day off and all that, but a kitchen-sized spanner was thrown in the works. A kitchen-sized kitchen to be more precise. On Monday night I got a call to say that the new kitchen I'd been expecting to take 6 months to come was coming on Wednesday. Yeah, I know it's a bit staid to get excited about a new kitchen, but I like nice things, and the new kitchen is very nice indeed. But in between helping the kitchen fitter get things up and down stairs, locking myself out, and trying to sort out the huge mess that we'd somehow conspired to create, I never got around to doing much of anything else at all. Well, except watching some Major League Soccer, but a man's got to relax, right?

Anyway, a new kitchen. All beech doors and black worktops. Nice.

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2003 UB-313 now has an official name. Previously it had been known, unofficially, as Xena (yes, after the TV show) but, stuffily, they've ignored that and it's now called Eris. Its moon is called Disnomia. I realise that this is two entries in a row that have discussed planets but that's the way I roll.

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I've become a tiny bit attached to ending up in the Chicago Rock Cafe. It all started when I promised my friend Rachel that I'd go out with her to her usual haunts. This, strangely for an educated and sophisticated woman, included the Chicago Rock Cafe. I had a good time, probably due more to the company and the continental fighting lager than the surroundings, but an important bridge had been crossed.

Since then, I've been another couple of times, at the end of a night out with the lads from my football team. They're, politely and respectfully, townies, so we drink in town - so far I've broken my duck at The Goose On Two Streets, Balloon Bar, Bar:[me], Revolution, and made rare visits to Edwards and Lloyds. I think I'm becoming one of them. So much so that, at the end of the night, when Chicago's is mentioned as a possible destination, I find no reason not to. Indeed, I'm loving it. It's half not caring about cool, and half sociologically-derived entertainment, I guess. I can dance to cheesy songs, and watch the old and desperate try to find sexual and/or romantic union with other old and desperate people.

So, yeah, I'm out and proud. Chicago is my kind of town if all of its cafes are rock....

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There's another RIMup on the horizon, this time in Glasgow in November. It's an early birthday party for Kenny, and a logistical nightmare. I never realised how far Scotland was. It's, like, hundreds of miles away. The plan right now is to drive, collecting Mikey and picking up Lister & Bobbs in Warrington along the way. Six hours, with music and chat. I like the idea. Bobbs & Lister are in, but Mikey's dragging his heels. Do it, Mikey, do it...

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My new football team, Spinney Hill Wanderers, play their third game of the season tomorrow. We're looking for our first win. We lost our first game 9-0 (though we're pretty convinced it was only 8), and followed that up with a 6-1 reverse on the worst pitch I've ever played on in over 500 games of football. The second-half last week was much better, though, and it looks like the lads are learning and listening, at least a little. It's tough, considering we're a new team and half the side have never played adult football before, but they're a great bunch and we can have fun losing as well, I'm sure. The last time I played, 6 years ago, I was one of the lesser-talented players in a very good team. Now, as captain, they're looking to me to provide inspiration and I'm trying, but it's hard not to get frustrated at the quality around me. I guess it must be like old pros that drift down the divisions (or would be if that happened anymore in this age of millionaires not needing to play beyond 30). Add to that me not being terribly fit still and it's going to be a long, hard season...

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Not for the Villa, though, who've gotten off to a great start. A new manager, a billionaire owner, and players who look like the class acts we always knew they were. That lot across town must be sick as pigs. Okay, they're top of the Fizzy Pop league but we look like we're finally in a position to capitalise on our good fortune. It would be very Villa if we didn't, of course, but I have a good feeling about how this one's going to turn out.

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I've become a Wikipedian. It started, as it probably does with most people, when I noticed something that needed correcting on the Villa page, and has snowballed from there. I'm trying to fill in as much information as I can about non-FIFA football, as well as keep the Villa page tidy and up to date. It's fun but frustrating, especially when other people - and they're mostly anonymous so you can't even talk to them about it - change entries for spurious reasons. Still, that's Wikipedia, I guess.

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Music rocks my world: I'm From Barcelona, the new Lemonheads album (album of the year, with a bullet), Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, The Knife, Dashboard Confessional (so emo), and The Killers' new Meatloaf/Springsteen hybrid. Love it
Current Mood: goodgood
Current Music: The Lemonheads, by The Lemonheads (Vagrant)

240806: Fluff Aug. 24th, 2006 @ 07:18 pm
Farewell, then, Pluto.

There's only eight planets, now. Pluto lost its battle to remain amongst the elite today when a last minute compromise (which would have increased the number of planets to 12) failed, and it is now designated a "dwarf planet". I've never been to Pluto, nor do I ever imagine I will go there, but it's sad to see it go. It used to go, Mercury - Venus - Earth - Mars - Jupiter - Saturn - Uranus - Neptune - Pluto, but now the solar system stops at Neptune. Still, the compromise would have seen a Mercury - Venus - Earth - Mars - Ceres - Jupiter - Saturn - Uranus - Neptune - Pluto - Charon - UB313 (catchy name, but also unofficially called Xena) line-up. Now, despite that allowing for Charon (previously thought to a moon) and Pluto to become the solar system's first twin planets, it was not to be.

What does it matter? Not much, I guess, but still.

I don't like change.

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59 Varieties Of Cock

Heinz are cunts of the first order. The bought the HP sauce factory in Birmingham, which was - and still is - profitable. They ten decide to move the production of HP sauce to the continent, to another of their factories that isn't profitable, in order to make it profitable. Confused? I'm not. It's cuntery on a massive scale, and I URGE YOU to boycott all Heinz products forthwith.
Other entries
» 160806: Levantamos Cantidades Pequeñas de Infierno de la Bobbins
So, um yeah, the third annual DRINK YOURSELF YOUNG FESTIVAL at Bobbins's house kinda coincided with Ring Of Honor coming to Liverpool. How could we, veterans of such crappy wrestling shows as TWC:IC and UU, turn down such an opportunity for fun? And beers.

The first year I drove up to the Wirral I had Stereo Mike and AManCalledMikey with me. Last year it was just me and Mikey. This year I made the drive alone. Is it me? I usually smell on the way home - an odd mixture of no sleep skin, beer-soaked flesh and grunting laughter sweats - but I'm fresh, fresh, fresh on the way up. I can only put it down to both of those fine men finally getting lives. Also, hating wrestling now. Ehhh.

Three hours in a car on your own is a long time. Fortunately I had great music. The new Sean Lennon album was UNDERWHELMING. Too Beatles-y, the production all flat, but if you like that kind of thing it's still a good album. Just don't expect Into The Sun part two. Clayhill are all kinds of awesome, and if the album I was listening to hadn't come out in 2003 it would be my album of the year. As it is, there's a new one out soon. The latest Lou Thesz Press comp rocked me and socked me, and I glided into the Wirral to the glorious sounds of Sufjan Stevens's latest, The Avalanche. Music fucking rocks.

Kenny and Lister were already there when I arrived. I was struck by the harshness of the house - it was vibrant and messy before - since they're trying to sell it and only Bobbins and Holz live there now. But the big, comfortable sofas and widescreen TV remained. Nice. They'd just finished watching Big Brother and were about to witness the abortion that is The Friday Night Project but I saved the day with a bootleg of Nacho Libre.

Now let me say this: bootlegging is obviously immoral and illegal. It means the film industry has less fat milk to pass through its swollen teats to its shareholders and overpaid actors. Oh, and it funds terrorism. But fuck, it's sweet. I paid £0 for this film. Actually, I paid about 17p for the disc and probably about 3p for the electric. That's 20p, roughly what the one-legged infants in the far east get paid per week to make DVDs for the milk-fat dumb fucks in Hollywood.


The inferior quality of this particular bootleg meant it looked and sounded EXACTLY like a Santo film. I've seen the trailer on TV and it looks glossy and perfect. That is NOT the way to see this film. So, yeah, all Santofied and illegal, Nacho Libre fucking rocks cock. And if the 20p I paid doesn't go to an orphan in Jakarta, who cares? I hate orphans. I hate all the orphans in the world.

Kenny then decided to lift the mood by putting on the Von Erichs DVD. As depressing as the death of 5 (of 6) sons and a father is, the circumstances of those deaths and utter carniness of their lives made it a fun watch. Never depressing, maybe because time and geography means that the Von Erichs never meant much to us. I can someone from 1975 really, really crying about it, but it was a great excuse to watch some classic wrestling and carny goofiness. Gary Hart has one tooth in his head. Chris Adams spoke from beyond the grave. And Kevin Von Erich wandered round a derelict building rambling like a grampa bum to his bum grandkids. Awesome. I now want similar documentaries on the Funks, the Armstrongs and the Guerreros. Now.

Robot Chicken saw us into the early hours of Saturday morning and I gave into beer and PHYSICAL EXHAUSTION and passed away into horrible drunken slumber...

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As is the way with such things, I woke about 7 million times, looked at my 'phone and decided it was too early to get up. Last year I gave in, got up at 8 and ended up cleaning the kitchen for an hour before forcing everybody else to wake up. This year it was 10 o'clock before my full bladder finally made me emerge from beneath my veteran sleeping bag, and found Kenny & Bobbs already up. John, as is his wont, was still sleeping on the AIRBED OF DOOM~!, oblivious to everything, fidodido in the middle of the living room.

The rest of the "morning" was all Associated Dairies for a breakfast of pasties and crisps, some cky and rock music, before the boys helped me like a bunch of teenage girls to pick which t-shirt I was going to wear. Death Cab For Cutie won, because an emo boy who works in a library, and we skipped away, eager for fun. Not so young, pretty fucking dumb, and with the cum lapping at our eyeballs.

Merseyside has these things called trains that work, and everything. They take you from one place to another, for a small amount of money. Unlike London they do this above ground, and with no buskers, foreigners or stairs. Also, but obviously more on this later, they have nightbuses which also work and cost small amounts of money. For a city full of thieving colonial backwash, it's pretty cool.

Bobbs printed off a map that showed that we had to walk roughly two inches from the train station to the venue. Not that we knew where the venue was, but our tickets helpfully said WEST DERBY ROAD, so we set off for West Derby, hopeful of stopping off in a pub or two on the way. Two inches later - two gruelling, sweaty inches chock full of boarded up pubs later - we found the venue. "Fucking shithole" would be doing it too much justice. Also, ten yards past the venue, there were two pubs. One, the Olympia Hotel, resembled one of those vars you see in mexican films. Wooden floors, about three stools, and two men wearing bandoliers sitting in the corner. The other, The Derby, had windows high up on the walls, so you couldn't see inside, and this - it was decided - gave it a slight advantage.

Now the great thing about UP NORTH is that beer is cheap. And The Derby didn't let us down on that score. It also had a pool table and a chalkboard sign advertising DARTS. So we bought beer and feared that we didn't look local. Of course we didn't - our collective two tattoos (both mine) weren't visible and we'd only lost four teeth between us. Still, they weren't unfriendly, just drunk in the middle of the afternoon. Pot, kettle.

Kenny decided we would play pool but I winced, knowing that they have funny rules in pubs like this, and it was probably Winner Stays On. Pssh, he says, so I put his money in the table and he racks them up. I'm just about to break when WHAT'S GOING ON, LADS? booms from the bar. IT'S WINNER STAYS ON, he says. Bobbs, Lister and I do the right thing and slink off back to the snug, leaving Kenny to play one of Everton's original hard men (he probably used to fight at the football but had gotten too old by the time it all kicked off in the 70s, leaving him bitter and unfulfilled) to school him in the art of local pool. As it turned out, Kenny gave him a run for his money and there was only a minor dispute over the rules, at which point the man brought the pub's RULES EXPERT out of the toilet, zipping up as he came, to clarify, and I ceded territory to him. So, yeah, Kenny lost, but our joshing and pub sport bravery meant that we were okay, and were challenged to a game of doubles by the R.E. and his even more drunk friend. We lost.

By this time a few Wrestling Fans™ had come into the pub and Kenny got hungry so we left before we were made for being the same kind of people as those wearing t-shirts with sweary slogans on. John asked the barmaid if there was a chippy nearby, and she said there was one just down the road. About two fucking inches down the road, if I'm any judge.

The boys bought food and I bought Lynx Click and Opal Fruits and pissed behind a purple wheelie bin. The RE and his EMDF wandered by, embraced us and told us that the Chinese down the road was the best they'd ever been to. Bobbs posited that, this being West Derby, it was probably the only one they'd ever been to. He's a cruel man. Kenny also pointed out that we'd not gotten their myspaces...

By now it was almost 6 o'clock and time, therefore, to go to the show.

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The Olympia is an old building, with lots of history. It's also, with the exception of the two pubs I spoke of, the only building still standing in its neighborhood. It would be perfect to use as a base for an ECW-like cult promotion. One that rewarded regular attendees with fun shows and cheap prices. Unfortunately, ROH-UK is not that promotion. [OPTIMISM]Not yet, anyway.[/OPTIMISM] Of course, for me, it'll never be, and so it's time for a STATEMENT OF INTENT.

I don't much like modern wrestling and really don't care for chant-along smartness with nonsense booking. Thank you.

I have really only one major thing to say, and a few minor things. That major thing, and let's get it out of the way, is that they were charging £3 FOR A BOTTLE OF BEER. That's, like, 1p for every 1ml. Which is £5 a pint. Now that's all cool in Scandinavia or titty bars but at run-down theatres in a shitty part of Liverpool, hosting a show which DEMANDS beer to get through it, it's FUCKING OUTRAGEOUS. I mean, the money we spent on beer alone could have paid for the wage bill on one of Bagga's shows. Bah.

So, yeah, the show. There was some perfectly fine wrestling. And there was some fucking awful wrestling. And, get this, I don't think some of it was supposed to be awful. Colt Cabana was amazing. Even being in the ring with Spud couldn't dim his shining light. We had to ask who the fourth man in the opener was. It took the Irish guy in front three times before I heard Matt Sydal. I don't know if I was drunk, he couldn't speak, or if Matt Sydal is so instantly forgettable that I'd forgotten who he was as soon as I was told. Jonny was pretty good, too, but like that's news.

Davey Richards fought Claudio Castignioli. By now the Irish guy was getting tired of telling us who these people were.

Then Chris Hero appeared. Fuck, CZW has deep pockets. Flying their guy over to disrupt a ROH show ON FOREIGN SHORES. The dastards. He said some things. Then Colt Cabana, who lost in the opener, beat him up. Sucks to be Chris Hero.

Oh, I forgot. I amused myself in a way that 99% of everyone ever will think is stupid and idiotic. I care, honestly. There were lots and lots of people in ROH t-shirts. This being a ROH show, that wasn't unusual. So what happens when you go up to them and ask them, "What does ROH stand for?" Pretty much they say, "Ring Of Honor," and look at you all gone out. Some of them will then go onto explain what Ring Of Honor is. Others will say, "it's why we're all here tonight." One girl will claim there is no significance to the fact that her t-shirt is red while others are black. Hey, I laughed. Inside, always inside.

Who fought next? Hang on. [INTERNET]Oh. It seems that Jimmy Rave fought Davey Richards and BJ Whitmer fought Claudio Castignioli.[/INTERNET] I suck at reviews. Toilet paper! Of course! It's fucking dumb. It's a nice joke but it gets tired. Like, after two rolls. Two thousand rolls might get funny again. But anything between 2 and 2000 is not funny. Oh, and only about 1% realised that you have to keep hold of the end of the roll for a while. I swear some 'tards didn't even pick open the seal. At some point, Bobbs & I tried to work out who played at Reading in 1994. [INTERNET]Afghan Whigs, American Music Club, Archers of Loaf, Cud, Elastica, The Lemonheads, Flaming Lips, Frank Black, Gravediggaz, Helmet, Hole, Jeff Buckley, Manic Street Preachers, Pavement, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Reverend Horton Heat, Scarce, Sebadoh, Shed Seven, Smudge, Soundgarden, Superchunk, They Might Be Giants, Tindersticks, Velocity Girl, The Wedding Present[/INTERNET]

Doug Williams and Jody Fleisch and Go Shiosaki and SUWA had a good match. If I can minorly quibble it's that Doug worked his NOAH style at times (heel) and so did Shiosaki (face), and so the heel/face dynamic which had finally been fully realised by having SNEAKY JAPANESE HEELS was blurred a little. Also, if you are one of the people who chanted YOU FUCKED UP when Jody made a small mistake on the 720, then you should kill yourselves. You are beyond hope, you wretches.

As are the people, written about at length just about everywhere, who chanted dumb things at small children. I have little to add except that drunken Kenny, in admonishing the cunts, swore just as much. Something the children next to us found amusing, I'm sure. I apologised to their single mothers.

There was an interval. Kenny & I left to go find $tew. We found him. We talked. I have no idea what we talked about.

Robbie Brookside wrestled Chad Collyer. Chad Collyer needs to call himself Chad Malenko again. John had seen this match before, on an All-Star show. It was alright. I wonder when Brookside stopped thinking that the FWA stood for For Wannabe Americans? I don't think the fans liked this. Brookside isn't a ROH guy. Spud kinda is, but they didn't like him, either. I don't pretend to understand.

By now we were quite excited. Even if the main event went an hour, we'd still be out of the building by 10.30, half an hour before our agreed walk out time. Then they drew the RAFFLE OF HONOR. Now you'll probably think I'm being facetious. I'm not. That's EXACTLY how it was announced. All the wining tickets were numbered between 60 and 75. Now either the hat needed a shake, they didn't sell many tickets, or the fix was in. Raffle of fucking Honor.

The tag title match was next, and Aries & Strong helpfully wore their names on their arses. I couldn't tell which Briscoe was which. Like it mattered. This had MOVES~! in it. But also a bit of nice wrestling. Austin Aries has Benoit arms. Also, people didn't get the WELEASE WODERICK! shout from Bobbs every time Strong was put in a hold. Idiots. I got it and I hate Monty Python. Some people won.

The main event was another All-Star special, as a sadly beardless Bryan Danielson took on Nigel McGuiness. I hate McGuiness. Moj, before he turned "heel", said something quite clever about him. I forget what. The last time I saw Nigel McGuiness he was having his face kicked in by Samoa Joe. I like Samoa Joe. He kicks people's faces in. People I don't like. This was all wacky rules. Fucking rope break this and no DQ that. About as far from Pure Wrestling as it is surely possible to get. Apparently Gabe realises this because he's done away with the title. Not that he'd admit that he gayed up, of course. No, he wants to create a Triple Crown. Good luck with that, mark.

So, yeah, Danielson won by hitting McGuiness lots, which lifted him to number one in my favorite wrestlers list. He then plunged to #432 by issuing a challenge for a re-match 6000 miles away. Douche. I could care less because the show was finished and it was only TEN O'CLOCK~! Take that, people who didn't leave until after midnight at one of their shows, or something!

If the crowd hadn't been such massive dicks I'd have probably enjoyed what was an average show. As it was, only the African in the toilet doling out perfume for a pound mae it bearable. On the way out I spoke to Jonny Stor, because I'm down with TEH BOYZ and then bumped into IBSRalphy, before jumping onto Country Boy's bonnet as he drove away. I'm sad to say that he wasn't playing Hillbilly Jim's theme in his car...

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So we're outside the venue and need to get to Liverpool. Not fancying a two-inch walk, Bobbs hails a cab. Some guy hears where we're going and asks if he can jump in with us. From that point, a man with the wonderful name of James McGuffin made four into five. Yeah, the Four Horsemen became, shit, I dunno... The Union? James came to the show and loved it. This makes him unusual but not unwelcome.

Five English punds later and we're in the heart of what a wanky TV documentary would call "Liverpool's Clubland", and there are scantily-clad girls to prove it. Everyone is going somewhere, or queueing for money, or being sick. Two guys come down the road wearing "Stevo's Stag Night" t-shirts, so of course I have to speak to them. Stevo and Mikey are over from Belfast. I presume that, at some point, there were more than two of them. Stevo told me he's been good but Mikey whips out his phone and shows me a picture of naked Stevo with a naked girl. I'm impressed. But not enough to ask for a copy of the picture.

My drunken heart wants to go where the boobs are falling out of dresses, but Bobbs insists we go to the Krazy House, Liverpool's premier indy/rock/metal club. Boobs would have been good, but the lure of chubby indie girls is too much to resist. We drag James with us, lest he fall prey to Mr McMahon's machinations.

On the way to the club, Lister is convinced that he's now drunk more beer than he has blood in his body. By my quick maths, he's still half a pint away, but he claims that he's wafer thin and therefore has half a pint less blood than everyone else. I concede.

The Krazy House is a huge warehouse-type thing. It's £4 to get in. It has three floors with different kinds of music, and two floors in-between those with pool tables and places to sit and talk. The beer is £1.75 a bottle. For fucking MGD. Therefore, the Krazy House is instantly the BEST CLUB EVER.

There are three guys there in ROH t-shirts. What kind of douche goes to a wrestling show and then goes to the BEST CLUB EVER? Sheesh. I continue my night's fun by asking them what ROH stands for...

Me: What does ROH stand for?
Him: Ring of Honor.
Me: What's that?
Him: A wrestling company.
Me: Like WWF?
Him: Yeah
Me: It doesn't sound like a wrestling company - where does the honor come in?
Him: They shake hands before the matches.
Me: Does that make it better?
Him: I think so, yes.

So, yeah, we're drinking, and even grooving a little, laughing at three guys who dressed like they were Panic! At The Disco, and just generally having a good time. Then I feel a tap on my shoulder, and a shout of "FUCKING HELL, BOON!", and turn round to find Fozz. Now Fozz is a guy that, up until a few months ago, I'd not seen in the best part of a decade. He used to live with my buddy Ricky in Northampton, while he was there for university. I saw him in May, at Ricky's band's final gig, and all was good. Now I've freaked him the fuck out by appearing, unheralded, at a club in his hometown. He buys me a drink.

The night blurred on, and at some point I got talking to a brown schoolgirl. No, not the one who said, "I want to help you Roland." Rather she was wearing a brown Japanese schoolgirl uniform, some character from anime that I had no fucking clue about. She was pretty cool, though, and drew her own comics. She gave me her myspace (see Kenny?) and flitted off, as fast as her chubby legs could carry her.

Kenny & Bobbs were off dancing, and Lister was... well, somewhere. I found James by the bar on the middle floor, and chatted for a bit. Then I saw a girl sitting on her own and dragged him over. I said to her, "Is your name Emma?" She said, "no, it's Ellen." "This is James," I said, "and J and E are the first two words of Jesus and also jesuit," which got them talking and later snogging. I rule. This is something that needs to be said: if you come out with me while I'm drunk, I will do my best to make sure you pull, mostly by bizarre introductions and the power of not caring. It's so easy to pull when you have no intention of actually doing it. Transferrance rules.

Fozz reappeared and introduced me to his girlfriend. She was blonde. That is all I can tell you. I'm sure there were other things - and maybe Bobbs, Lister & Kenny can fill in here - but it all became blurry. I know I chatted to the brown schoolgirl some more at some point, before she descended to the metal floor where I would not follow. Remember this, girls.

I stumbled outside at ten to three, texting Bobbs to let him know where I was, mindful of my birthday when I just went home and left everyone in the club. He joined me outside and I bought him a rose. Well, he wanted one. Then some girl wandered by and stole that rose, brazen as you like. So we bought another one.

Waiting for the boys, we got talking to some girls by asking them if they'd seen Lister. Obviously they didn't know who Lister was, so I tried to elaborate by describing him as the man with the two-dimnsional body, like a piece of paper turned on its end. It didn't help. Then the boys appeared and Kenny said he'd been dancing with one of the girls. She remembered but he'd clearly not made enough of an impression with his MOVES~! to seal any deal. They left.

Still buzzing, we hung around and I went up to a girl wearing a Killers t-shirt and asked her who the Killers were. She looked stunned, because what kind of indy club retard doesn't know who the Killers are but made a good fist of explaining. Kinda. The girls were from Widnes - Jenn, Stacey & Maxine - and they were getting the night bus home, so we walked with them. All they could tell me about Widnes was that it was better than Runcorn. I know that kind of town.

At some point it was decided that they would come back to Bobbs house, 5 miles in the wrong direction. I think it was Kenny's fault, but Bobbs agreed to share his booze with 3 girls from the back end of nowhere, and somehow I ended up paying for their tickets. Do NOT let me have money when I'm drunk.

On the bus on the way home the conversation somehow turned to Stacey's nipples, and whether they were brown or pink. I argued that she had red hair and thus had pink everything, but a weak argument was also made for brown. Sadly no effort was made to prove it one way or another.

We got to the Wirral and Jenn borrowed my phone to call her Dad. It was 4am. She told him that she was on the Wirral with "some boys" and surprisingly this did not go down well. At least she called... !

Somewhere along the way, Kenny picked up two scallies. One of them had been clutching an empty bottle of champagne and a wine glass so long that his hand had formed a claw. They had a hilarious story about a hedgehog, apparently. Back at Bobbs, Holz was still awake, and so 9 became 10.

Much talking, smoking and drinking ensued, and I lied to Jenn and told her that Bobbs liked Stacey. They'd disappeared upstairs, and I thought it might seal the deal, but Bobbs had no such plans, thinking that Stacey reminded him of a guy he went to school with who stank. I thought she was alright, but there's no accounting for olfactory nostalgia, I guess. At some point i was talking to Jenn. I heard Holz's voice say, "the Pringle postman has a delivery!" and turned round to find a handful of sour cream & onion Pringles being shoved in my mouth. I hate onion more than Hitler and all those guys. Some day, Holz will pay.

At about 6am, the girls decided that they had to go home. Maxine had to let the tiler in at 7, apparently. Glamorous! They were going to get a taxi, but I'd sobered up enough to pass the Bobbs test and offered to drive them home. I grabbed Bobbs to show me the way back, and turned the car towards Widnes. On the way we saw a million magpies and the world's thinnest fox. It also seemed to take FOREVER.

By the time we got back, Lister was foolishly attempting to sleep on the floor. Kenny had passed out on the sofa, as had one of the scallies, and Holz and Scally 2 were chatting like old friends in the kitchen. Foolishly, and mindful that I needed to get home, I decided to leave there and then, sure that by leaving at 8 I could make it home for 11. And I would have done if I hadn't had to stop for a sleep at Knutsford services.

I got home at 1 and then went straight to bed. 10 years ago I'd have been able to do that shit with no problem. I'm now OLD. This is not good. Still, a RIMup is special, and worth killing yourself for. The next one is pencilled in for November-ish, in Glasgow.

Who's in?
» 110706: Fair Is As Fair Does
Zinedine Zidane is undoubtedly a talented footballer. Personally, I have little time for him. He has always been prone to fits of petulence, and has played for two of the most unpleasant clubs in the world. Oh, and he's French. Still, he's a talented footballer.

And, in a World Cup shorn of individual brilliance by stop-start officiating and win-at-all-costs tactics, he was one of the star performers. But did he deserve to win the Golden Gall?

Since its induction in 1986, the award, for the player of the tournament and voted for by journalists, has been previously awarded to Oliver Kahn (2002), Ronaldo (1998), Romario (1994), Salvatore Schillachi (1990) and Diego Maradona. Few would argue that the previous recipients were not worthy winners, save for Maradona, and only then because of the Mano de Dios incident.

Zidane, though, committed the ultimate offence on Sunday night - an assault on a fellow player - and was deservedly red-carded. Unfortunately, the vote had taken place before the incident, and no thought was given to a re-run. We had our Golden Ball winner, and he was cooling his heels in the locker room. Runner-up, and World Cup winning captain, Fabio Cannavaro could be forgiven for thinking that something was rotten in Deutchsland.

The real debate, I suppose, is over whether it should matter. Whether a moment of madness should prevent Zidane from getting an award given more for his performances over the length of his career than during the month-long World Cup campaign.

The answer, of course, is "yes." The game should be built on fair play, and Heaven knows we've seen enough teams and individuals profit from cheating over the past month. But FIFA don't seem to agree, no matter how much they claim they're committed to cleaning up the sport.

Nowhere was this better illustrated than in the award of Young Player of the Tournament to Lukas Podolski. On the surface of it, it seems a no-brainer. He scored three goals and helped the host nation to the semi-final. However, his play was full of simulation and who can forget his disgusting behaviour over the sending off of Teddy Lucic in the second round game against Sweden? Worse still, FIFA gave serious consideration to giving the award to Cristiano Ronaldo, despite the entire continent turning against him for crimes against football.

And then, of course, we have the Team of the Tournament, which featured Luis Figo (a headbutt against Holland), and Thierry Henry (simulation against Spain and Switzerland). It seems that fair play is definitely not a barrier to the acolades of the sport's governing body.

But back to Zidane. His worst crime is not making his foul count. Whatever Materazzi said - and reports vary from insulting to his mother, his sister, his mentor, and his race - it provoked Zidane into an action that would blight his career and almost certainly give Italy the upper hand in the game. Yes, by far the most shocking thing about the entire affair, is that Zidane got himself sent off for nothing. If he'd made contact with Materazzi's face, Italy may have been to ten men themselves, having used all three substitutes, and Zidane none the worse off for it. In fact, he'd have probably felt a whole lot better. Instead, he aimed for the chest, albeit it with enough force to knock a very big man off his feet. His chest.

Now that's enough to stop him from getting the Golden Ball, if nothing else.
» 090706: Endings and Beginnings
Dr Who finished last night, with a huge, sweeping finale to a mixed series. There weren't many bad episodes in season two, but very few outstanding ones. Still, Tennant is a great Doctor, and seeing clips of Eccleston on Dr Who Confidential just didn't seem right. The final battle wasn't with the Daleks and the Cyberman, conveniently dispatched by a McGuffin (though, realistically, how could it have been any different?), but between the Doctor and his feelings for Rose. I don't know about the Doctor, but I'm going to miss Billie Piper. She's been fantastic and it's been oddly emotional these past few weeks watching the show knowing we were seeing her final performances. Still, never say never, and that breach may be opened again down the line - say for a Christmas special or something. The new companion has already died on screen, and it'll be interesting to see how they paint themselves out of that corner.

I can't believe I just blew cool points by discussing Dr Who on my blog. I was being ironic, honest...

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I played football this morning, training with a team that I hope to play for this season. You may remember that one of 2005's New Year's Resolutions was to find a football team and start playing again. I did, but it was an abortive start, as I just couldn't break into the set-up and didn't feel I ever would. One of the problems was that they were fitter than I, but I've worked towards that this year by joining straight after the summer and hitting the gym a few times beforehand. The other problem was that they were a tight unit, who'd been together a few years. This time, it's a new team, with a small core of friends at the centre, but plenty of places up for grabs. And, once again, as I'm there near the start, it's easier to assimilate.

Anyway, only half a dozen people turned up for training this morning, so we had a six-a-side game against another team who only had a few players. I don't know whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, but I was just about the best player on the pitch, if not the fittest. I'd also forgotten that I'm kind of two-footed - I was always very left-footed but my old team, The Llamas, beat it out of me by playing me at right back and giving me the ball on my right. It's a good way to learn, I guess. And if I could learn, why can't professional footballers? I digress. So, yeah, hopefully I'll get myself into contention and be back playing on Sunday mornings again. Crazy, I know...
» 080706: Fucking Horse Jumping
I'm sure Sport Relief is a noble charity and all that jazz, but couldn't they have come up with something better than celebrity horse jumping? What with ballroom dancing and ice skating making an unwelcome return to our screens, there must be someone high up in television who is so determined to bring back the 1950s that they're forcing through all the middle-class pursuits that were popular at the time. Which means, surely, Celebrity Racism can't be far away...

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I remember when the only times you feel silent were on Armistice Day or when someone strongly connected with your football club died. Now we have silences for everybody. This reached ridiculous proportions when there was a minute's silence before the opening game of the World Cup for "everybody in the football family" who had died in the last four years which, possibly with the exception of America, is just about everyone in the world. Before that, the most ridiculous silence ever was for Holly & Jessica, the two young girls murdered in Soham. It was as if, John Lister said, they were the only two people who died that year.

The reason I mention this, of course, is that we had two minutes silence yesterday for the people who died in the 7/7 bombings. I didn't ask, but I presume this did not include the bombers themselves. Now, don't get me wrong, it's very sad that these people died, but it's not like they died for me, or anyone I know. They were murdered and, unless Tony Blair is willing to admit a link between British foreign policy and the bombings, I think that any future murder victims have a very good case to demand two minutes of their own. Assuming they can demand... from beyond the grave

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Part of me, and you're going to think very bad of me when I say this, was sad that there wasn't further carnage yesterday. You see, I'm a disasterbator. I love to see history unfolding before me. Yes, it's a callous loss of life and yadda yadda yadda, but how fantastic is it when something like 7/7 or 9/11 happens? We even make up catchy names for the events, much easier to digest them that way. I get a rush of adrenalin and never feel more excited than when something that will make the history books is occurring and I'm living through it. It's not just loss of life, but elections, sporting events, cats trapped up trees... Never am I happier than when I'm witnessing epoch-making fortune or misfortune, preferably the latter. Am I alone in this?

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Jim Davidson is bankrupt. Somewhere "Chalky" White is laughing, probably with a spastic for company. There is a god.
» 050706: Bits
I thought the world was ending yesterday. There was thunder, lightning, and heavy, heavy rain. The power went out across the whole of Northamptonshire, no traffic lights were working and civilisation was breaking down. I was driving home from work like a man in a disaster movie, trying to reach his family before the looting began. Awesome.

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Isn't Israel going into Palestine and holding half the country hostage until the bad guys return the kidnapped Israeli soldier just the geopolitical equivalent of keeping a class back until someone owns up to writing SOAPY TIT WANK on the board?

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North Korea tested missiles yesterday. You know, missiles - the kind of stuff we've had since World War 2. They didn't work. And we're scared of these people?

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Confession: I've never seen a World Cup final. I've only ever seen one European Championships final, in 1980. I rarely watch the FA Cup final. And don't even ask about the Carling Cup. It's weird, I'll watch two teams play a game with nothing at stake because I can appreciate the football, but if either team is someone I HATE, and there's a competition to be won, I just don't want to know. Even if one of the teams is a team I like, I won't watch them because the team I don't like might win. And I'd hate to see that. So, for me, the World Cup ended on Saturday, when the last team I cared about even slightly got knocked out. Fuck 'em all. If they play a World Cup final and nobody's watching, does it count?

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Last summer, you may recall, I made a pirate ship out of cardboard for the libraries summer reading promotion. This year, it's a motherfucking SPY-DOME~!
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